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2019 Pac-12 Football Recreation: Week 5 preview

The first full weekend of conference play sees five intraconference battles

Oregon v USC Photo by Harry How/Getty Images

It’s conference play kickoff weekend as all 10 teams in action will duke it out against one another in Week 5. The Pac-12 picture will begin to shape up and we’ll start to learn more about each of the programs in action. Who are contenders? Who are pretenders?

Week 5 will show us the way.

With last week in the books, we take a look at the upcoming matchups for Week 5:

USC (2-1, 0-0) vs No. 22 Arizona State (3-0, 1-0)

Fresh off a bye, the USC Trojans head to Arizona State after the Sun Devils knocked off Stanford without the services of true freshman standout QB Jayden Daniels. Their QB returns and Arizona State will be hoping to rely on some tough defense against one of the nation’s most potent aerial assaults that USC will bring.

USC is averaging 312.0 passing yards per game, ranking seventh in the country while ASU’s defense is giving up just 222.3 yards per game through the air. Something will have to give.

USC Stat Leaders:
Kedon Slovis, QB: 64-99, 936 yards, 11 TDs, 4 INT, 172.7 passer rating
Vavae Malepeai, RB: 29 carries, 204 yards, 1 TD
Michael Pittman Jr., WR: 22 receptions, 355 yards, 4 TD
John Houston Jr., LB: 17 total tackles, 13 solo, 2 TFL, 1 sack

Arizona State Stat Leaders:
Jayden Daniels, QB: 46-87, 669 yards, 7 TD, 2 INT, 139.4 passer rating
Eno Benjamin, RB: 46 carries, 292 yards, 0 TD
Brandon AIyuk, WR: 12 receptions, 165 yards, 2 TD
Merin Robertson, LB: 24 total tackles, 10 solo, 7 TFL, 1 sack

Colorado (2-1, 0-0) vs Oregon State (4-0, 1-0)

The Buffaloes head to Corvalis with one mission: knock the Beavers from the ranks of the unbeaten. It’ll be a tough ask for the nation’s 45th-ranked defense o stop the country’s 26th-best rushing attack in Oregon State as Jermar Jefferson and Artavis Pierce have combined to form quite a duo. One great thing so far this season for Steven Montez and crew, Colorado is currently +3 in turnover margin, ranking in the top 30 in the country in such a regard.

Colorado Stat Leaders:
Steven Montez, QB: 46-91, 618 yards, 6 TD, 1 INT, 127.2 passer rating
Alex Fontenot, RB: 46 carries, 248 yards, 0 TD
Laviska Shenault Jr., WR: 15 receptions, 238 yards, 3 TD
Nate Landman, LB: 31 total tackles, 14 solo, 5 TFL, 1 sack

Oregon State Stat Leaders:
Jake Luton, QB: 31-75, 416 yards, 5 TD, 2 INT, 104.6 passer rating
Jermar Jefferson, RB: 91 carries, 501 yards, 4 TD
Isaiah Hodgins, WR: 19 receptions, 324 yards, 2 TD
Addison Gumbs, LB: 31 total tackles, 16 solo, 10 TFL, 4 sacks

Stanford (2-1, 0-1) vs No. 19 Washington State (3-1, 0-1)

The Cardinal are likely turning to K.J. Costello once again despite struggles in the fourth quarter a week ago cost them the game against Oregon State. That being said, this one has tough matchup written all over it as the Cougars are currently averaging 364.3 passing yards per game (first nationally) and Stanford is allowing just 196.3 passing yards per game. Paulson Adebo and Co. will be challenged on the outside by the Air Raid offense from Washington State.

The Cougars climbed two spots in the top 25 rankings to No. 19 overall and are currently averaging 35.0 points per game, the 22nd-highest scoring offense in the land.

Stanford Stat Leaders:
K.J. Costello, QB: 44-74, 656 yards, 5 TD, 0 INT, 156.2 passer rating
Cameron Scarlett, RB: 64 carries, 375 yards, 4 TD
Connor Wedington, WR: 17 receptions, 263 yards, 0 TD
Thomas Booker, Edge: 18 total tackles, 12 solo, 8 TFL, 3 sacks

Washington State Stat Leaders:
Anthony Gordon, QB: 104-183, 1395 yards, 9 TD, 2 INT, 134.9 passer rating
Max Borghi, RB: 31 carries, 144 yards, 2 TD
Dezmon Patmon, WR: 34 receptions, 485 yards, 5 TD
Justus Rogers, LB: 26 total tackles, 12 solo, 4 TFL, 2 sacks

Arizona (2-1, 0-0) vs No. 12 Washington (3-0, 0-0)

The Huskies narrowly avoided an upset against FCS West last week and odds are they were just looking towards the Pac-12 schedule as the biggest reason why they struggled in Week 4. Jacob Eason was largely ineffective with pressure in his face and he’ll have to be sharper against an Arizona team that should present a bigger challenge than an FCS school did. The Wildcats are currently ranked 104th in total defense, however, giving pause for much hope against the country’s 18th-best offense in Washington.

Points should come in bunches, regardless, actually as both schools are averaging top-25 marks in points per game, Arizona at 38.0 (12th) and Washington at 33.3 (25th)

Arizona Stat Leaders:
Khalil Tate, QB: 69-104, 904 yards, 11 TD, 2 INT, 170.4 passer rating
J.J. Taylor, RB: 44 carries, 233 yards, 3 TD
Boobie Curry, WR: 21 receptions, 337 yards, 5 TD
Tony Fields II, LB: 26 total tackles, 8 solo, 1 TFL, 1 sack

Washington Stat Leaders:
Jacob Eason, QB: 42-83, 680 yards, 5 TD, 3 INT, 132.1 passer rating
Salvon Ahmed, RB: 70 carries, 381 yards, 5 TD
Hunter Bryant, TE: 16 receptions, 286 yards, 3 TD
Joe Truyon, Edge: 24 total tackles, 12 solo, 8 TFL, 4 sacks

California (2-1, 0-0) vs No. 9 Oregon (3-0, 0-0)

The Golden Bears and the Ducks were both off last week, getting ready for Pac-12 play as Cal will hope to slide into Eugene as a sneaky upset pick across the country. Chase Garbers is playing solid football despite their record but Justin Herbert was the Week 3 Player of the Week in the conference. The Ducks are one of the best teams from top to bottom this season but their defense has well outperformed expectations. Currently, the Oregon defense ranks in the top 10 in the following:

Total Defense: 217.3 (3rd)
Rush Defense: 90.8 (2nd)
Pass Defense: 126.7 (9th)

Good luck, Cal.

Cal Stat Leaders:
Chase Garbers, QB: 45-102, 497 yards, 5 TD, 3 INT, 95.3 passer rating
Christopher Brown Jr., RB: 50 carries, 345 yards, 2 TD
Gavin Reinwald, TE: 12 receptions, 130 yards, 1 TD
Cameron Goode, Edge: 22 total tackles, 11 solo, 1 TFL

Oregon Stat Leaders:
Justin Herbert, QB: 55-91, 662 yards, 9 TD, 0 INT, 154.2 passer rating
CJ Verdell, RB: 70 carries, 376 yards, 3 TD
Juwan Johnson, WR: 17 receptions, 215 yards, 2 TD
La’mar Winston Jr., Edge: 18 total tackles, 10 solo, 4 TFL, 1 sack

Herbstreit’s Picks:

USC @ ASU — ASU
Colorado @ Oregon State — Oregon State
Stanford @ WSU — Washington State
Arizona @ Washington — Washington
Cal @ Oregon — Oregon

Herbstreit’s overall picks after Week 4: 29-8
Week 1: 8-2,
Week 2: 7-2
Week 3: 8-3
Week 4: 6-1

Pac-12 On a Bye: UCLA, Utah

Reminder, this is a fictional take on our recreation of the 2019 NCAA football season using last year’s updated rosters and playing the games in NCAA Football 14 on a Playstation3. For more information, check out our intro story.